Sunday, 19 March 2017

Ebony Tee(s) - Closet Case Files

The Ebony Tee is a new pattern from Closet Case Files that I bought because I had a 20% off voucher thanks to my Frocktails goody-bag. The pattern is for a dress, raglan sleeved tunic, and cropped-top. The dress is similar to the Gabby Dress I make often (except for it's designed for knits) so at first it didn't interest me, but then I started to think about the cropped tee...and had to have it.

The cropped tee is VERY cropped and not a style I wear unless I've had an accident with the dryer. I lengthened my first version by 5.5" and sewed the 3/4 sleeves. The length is good for pencil skirts but I'm not yet sure if I'd wear it with skinny pants as I tend to favour longer tops for those type of pants. I finished the the hem using the rolled hem function of my overlocker - mainly to preserve the length but also as I like the way it looks.

This fabic came from the first Sydney Spoolettes fabric swap we held in Balmain last year. It's from Spotlight (as I've seen it there before) and is a sort of polyester/crepe type situation. Not breathable and NOT for wearing in hot or humid weather. But...I LOVE the print as it reminds me of a Japanese print. It was also very easy to sew and held a crease well when it came to neckband shenanigans. 

The top will definitely make those of us who are boob-a-licous not look flat chested!

Hot off the heels of my first Ebony Tee (made on Friday) I whipped this one up this morning.

The fabric is from The Fabric Muse in Chippendale that I've used once before for an Our Fave Top and messed up a bit so it's not very neat. I wanted to use this fabric again and take better care when sewing. I'm again surprised at how well a polyester took the iron (on the proper setting course). I had always balked at sewing with slinky poly as I thought the fabric + neckband = nightmare, but with these two I had no issues.

The only difference to Version 2 is one extra inch added to the length...don't think it makes much of a difference though, so again still deciding if these tops will get worn with pants.

I'm really happy with these two tops and once the weather cools down to polyester wearing temps these will get a good workout in my wardrobe. This won't be the last time I sew this pattern either.

** I should also mention that I didn't even glance at the instructions so have no idea if they are any good or not, but this company has a good reputation in that regards. I also sewed the size 16 based on the finished garment measurements being just smaller than my bust measurement.

Pattern: Closet Case Files "Ebony Tee"
Size: 16
Modifications:  Version 1: added 5:5" to the length, Version: added 6.5" to the length. Rolled hem.
Fabric: as above

Changes for next time: none for View B? 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A week of me-made

Last week I decided to photograph each me-made outfit I wore...

...not sure why, but I guess I was feeling a bit chuffed that I seem to be wearing me-made more often than not these days!

I'm really enjoying my me-mades as they suit my lifestyle and style - smart, minimal, casual and comfortable. Three years ago, when I started sewing and had SO. MANY. FAILS I never thought I'd have a wardrobe with so many items I'd made myself. I've come a long way!

Sunday: me-made top, skirt, bag and necklace
Monday: me-made top, bag and necklace
Tuesday: me-made top and bag
Wednesday: me-made top, skirt, bag and necklace
Thursday: me-made skirt, bag and necklace
Friday: me-made dress and bag 
Saturday: me-made top and bag

Monday, 6 March 2017

Simplicity 1366 - as a dress

I absolutely LOVE my Simplicity 1366 top - so much that I wore it for three out of four days last week (with washes in between of course). Whenever I love a top I go straight to "can it be lengthened to a dress" which is of course what happened here. Unusually for me though I actually went ahead and made it happen. This all happened last night and I'm wearing the dress today (I sewed til about 9.30pm which I NEVER do as it's bed time but I was excited by this and wanted it DONE)!

I had already lengthened the top by 7.5cm and then I added 13" to that...I had a dress pattern made in a class at Tessuti where you "rub off" a pattern from a favourite garment. I actually just stuck the two patterns together to come up with this. Now that I love what I've made I'll trace it off so I have the dress as a proper pattern piece.

Back view! I think I'd like to add 1" to the length of the dress next time and peg it in a little at the bottom to give it a bit more shape. I think it could be a tad smaller too - but it's very comfortable as it is! Coming into cooler weather I think my next one will be sewn with the sleeves at the regular, longer length.

Dodgy neckline photo - I had to take the photos myself as Dave wasn't around. I think I could've made the neckband a smidge smaller as it's just not sitting 100% flat - but near enough. Even though the fabric didn't have 4-way stretch I couldn't help but run the stripe the other way for the band. The neck is HUGE on this top so it doesn't need to stretch to get over my head.

The fabric is from Spotlight. There's a brand new store at Castle Hill and I'm OBSESSED! They have some great fabric at the moment with a huge variety. Everything is neatly laid out and I feel so inspired when I go there. It's literally my new happy place! Anyway...the fabric is a ribbed knit I think - a rayon/cotton/polyester blend. I'm wearing the dress to work today as it's a cooler day - not a fabric for hot hot weather but good for inbetween days.

PatternSimplicity 1366
Size: 18
added 16" to the length, added 1cm to both the side of the front and back neckline and dropped the front neckline a bit. Shortened the sleeves by 5cm.
rayon/cotton/polyester blend from Spotlight
Changes for next time: add 1" to length, peg in at the bottom. Perhaps made a little snugger? 

Sewing for holidays

I'm off to Vietnam for two weeks in April. The tour I'm on goes from Hanoi down to Saigon - and it's going to be pretty hot and humid as it's the beginning of their very hot season.  I do have quiet a few casual dresses for summer, most of them sleeveless. I've read that in Vietnam it's polite to have your shoulders covered so I thought, in a first for me, that I'd sew a few dresses for the trip.

I'm going to sew up a few Gabby Dresses, and possibly take the Marianne Dress I sewed over my Christmas break. I'll also take a few of my ready-to-wear dresses to pad things out a bit.

The first Gabby Dress is made from a remnant I bought from Tessuti a few years ago. I never really knew what to do with it as the big flowers ran along the I'm glad to have found a good for it. The fabric is a lightweight 94% Viscose/ 6% Spandex blend and I hope it can stand up to the hot weather. As it's cut along the warp it does tend to "grow" during the day so it's one that I cannot hang up - it lives folded in my cupboard.

Next up is another Gabby Dress in a modal/silk jersey blend.  The fabric feels SO THIN (so will be good for the hot and humid weather especially in Saigon)! It's interesting sewing the same dress in different types of knits. This one was taken in so much it's probably an M as opposed to my normal XL. I took the one in above a quite a bit too - so I'll say it's an was also VERY long (and has a 2" hem, as opposed to my normal 1") making me think the dress stretched out somewhere along the way whilst sewing?

I think the neckband could be a smidge tighter on this one -- but the fabric was quite fiddly, reminiscent of the Liberty jersey I sewed up last year, so I didn't want to unpin it once I'd finally attached it ready to sew. Sadly, despite pre-washing, the dress shrank in the wash so I'll be going in the Vinnie's bag and not my bag for Vietnam. I tried to stretch it out when wet but it didn't work.

Straight off the back of this I had THREE fails. One, the fabric was too off-grain to work with (annoyed), another I was sewing when tired and just fluffed it up in about a hundred different ways, and then another with lovely fabric but not enough stretch to make the sleeves comfortable enough to wear (it will become a tee next summer).

And...this is successful dress #2 (that I made twice due to fluffing it up when tired - lucky I have 6m of this fabric from Pitt Trading). The fabric is a viscose and spandex knit and is quite light. It was OK to sew - a bit fiddly as it did curl a little bit but nothing too major.

 This dress is very comfy and will definitely be coming with me - it feels nice and cool to wear!

I've gone to so much effort (six dress and only two wearable) so I hope the Vietnamese appreciate my covered shoulders!


Pattern: "Gabby Dress" by Tessuti
Size: XL
Modifications: lengthened by 5cm, neckline cut lower
Changes for next time: none